It was a busy weekend for me, in many ways busier than I would like. At the same time it was exactly what I needed. This is often the case with me and my introvert self. I always look forward to the weekend for a number of reasons, but the main one being - time alone. It's my chance to do what needs to be done around the house and once that's done, utilize my time as I choose. This usually entails a decent amount of outdoor time, some writing time and just loafing.
This weekend was different. I was slated for stuff all three days of it, Fri-Sun. Friday I spent at the Waukesha South High School football game. Both of our kids wanted to go, so all 4 of us, including my wife went. We like to support them and know a few kids on the team, so wanted to cheer them on. It was good, but the best part of it was catching up with a couple of friends before and during the game. Had I not gone, I likely would have stayed home and whittled the night away on my laptop. Seeing a football game - even a blowout - and sitting amongst friends beats the former scenario every time.
After racing around yesterday trying to get everything I needed done by early afternoon, I spent last night at what is known as the Greater Krey Open or GKO. It is a golf event put on by my friend and his family as a cancer fundraiser and as a tribute to his brother who died of cancer almost 3 years ago. I didn't attend the golf portion, but I did go to the dinner/raffle benefit portion. The raffle was well stocked and I actually came away with a couple of prizes - a dozen golf balls and a T-Shirt.
More importantly though, the raffle raised over $1500 for cancer research via the American Cancer Society. I always come away from events like this feeling pretty good because cancer hits so close to home for me lately. To see the event take in that kind of money from a group of about 50 people, was really cool. Will it cure cancer? No. But it is people working toward that cause, making the world a better place while having a little fun, enjoying each others' company and remembering loved ones who were taken by cancer. Some people, including Sal, the owner of Papa Luigi's where the event was held, gave big prizes and contributed a lot to the cause. Good people trying to do good in the world.
Today I finished out the weekend by serving breakfast at the Guest House in Milwaukee again. Again, this was outside my realm of usual weekend activity, though I knew from past experience it would probably be the highlight of my weekend, and it was. We're a bit more familiar with a lot of the guys there now and are much more comfortable talking and joking with them.
These guys are down on their luck, but most of them have not lost their sense of humor. They can laugh at each other, and at us at times, and it is really like being around a big family dinner table at times (even though there are several tables.) They are grateful, courteous, generous, helpful and thoughtful. Deep down their flawed, imperfect people just like I am. On the surface, they're just trying to do their best to get through each day, which is just like me too.
On this particular morning, we had a friend come and help us serve and she brought two friends as well. They learned the ropes and I told them what I knew about the Guest House programming and some of its needs. It was great hearing the story behind their wanting to help. Again, if I would have slept in and just gone to church like any other Sunday, I would have missed this chance to meet and share with these people. Good people trying to do good in their city.
And so it's come to Sunday evening and I'm fairly exhausted. Being social sucks the life out of me. It wears me out. Bear in mind that I really, really, enjoy talking to people at the time I'm doing it. At the same time, I dread the thought of having to do and usually look for excuses to avoid it.
But what I need to remember, and what I need you all to hold me accountable for is "getting out". Getting out of my comfort zone. Getting out of my routine. Getting out of my house. Getting out into a needy world. Turning my introvert self inside out, in the name of meeting some really cool people. Because it goes against something that I am genetically wired with. It gives me experiences that I will never forget. I don't get to many of those in my living room or within the walls of my house.
So it's my goal to remember that Getting Out has a really simple acronym and it is: